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File System Archiving in Enterprise Vault v9: Bulk Recall

Created: 08 Nov 2010 • Updated: 08 Nov 2010
Darren Locke's picture
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Well, it's been too long since the last blog entry. I hope to make amends with that in the coming weeks and hope to be able to complete my series of blogs detailing the new FSA features that we delivered in Enterprise Vault v9.

In this blog, I want to focus on the second new FSAUtility option - bulk recall. Like with the placeholder migration blog I wrote here , you may be thinking that FSAUtility already had this functionality. You would be partially correct.

Existing versions of FSAUtility have the -t bulk restore option. We have introduced a new -b bulk recall option. Restore? Recall? What's the difference you may be asking. Let me explain.

Bulk restore will use the Enterprise Vault databases to work out what is needed to be restored to the file server. If you gave it a path of \\servername\share\folder_to_restore we query the Directory and Vault Store databases to work out what we archived from that folder and everything below it. We then go about restoring those files to the original archive location.

That is where lies one of the problems with bulk restore. To date we do not track any placeholder movement on the file server. So if we archive a file from 'Folder A' and then someone moves the placeholder to 'Folder B' we have not tracked that the placeholder has moved from folder A to B. When running the bulk restore command, the file will be restored to 'Folder A' and not to 'Folder B' where the placeholder currently resides. This could appear confusing to the end user with the original file in 'Folder A' and the placeholder still in 'Folder B'.

One other trait of bulk restore is that it will restore all files whether a placeholder exists for them or not. If Delete on Delete is not enabled, delete operations on placeholders will delete the placeholder but will not delete the file in the archive. That will remain until its retention expires, so it will be eligible for bulk restore operations.

Bulk restore looks in the databases to see what to restore. Bulk recall on the other hand will walk the file system and for any placeholder that it encounters, recall the archived file and replace the placeholder with it.

The points to note for bulk recall are that the archived files are recalled to the location where the placeholder currently resides.  And only archived files that correspond to placeholders will be recalled. Where placeholders have been deleted previously, the archived files associated with them, will not be recalled with the -b option.

So in the use cases where you just want to recall the placeholders in a folder structure use the new -b option. For situations where you need to restore all the archived files back, then use the -t option. There are nuances to both, hence the explanation in this blog note.

One additional note about bulk restore is that you can specify an alternate location for the files to be restored to. They do not need to go back to the original source location.  This option does not exist for bulk recall, although you could do something similar by issuing a copy command from the original to the destination location.

Check out the Utilities guide in the Documentation folder of the Enterprise Vault media for detailed syntax about how to use any FSAUtility command.

I hope you are finding these blogs useful and informative. Please do leave feedback and comments. My next blog will focus on the FSAUndelete utility that we delivered in v9.